River Street Jan 2017

Downing moves fast with plans for 32-storey River Street tower

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Developer and contractor Downing is targeting a summer start on its development of a long-stalled site on River Street in Manchester, after lodging a planning application for 807 student bedrooms in a scheme reaching up to 32 storeys.

Last November it was revealed that Downing had agreed to purchase the plot next to Mancunian Way from Dastur Trading, and was working up designs with architect SimpsonHaugh.

Dastur had planned to develop the site in 2013 through property company Chelmer Developments, and secured planning permission in 2013 for a 42-storey 600-apartment tower, also designed by SimpsonHaugh. Construction of this scheme never began owing to funding issues.

Forshaw Land & Property then took an option on the site and lodged a fresh planning application in 2015, which was approved later that year. The application aimed to reduce the number of apartments from 600 to 420.

Downing has now submitted its plans for the plot, which is currently occupied by a six-storey concrete frame. Downing is proposing to a part 32, 10 and five-storey building, which would total 807 rooms for student rent.

According to planning documents, George Downing Construction will be the contractor, and is set to start on site this summer, taking 119 weeks to complete the project.

The tower will be clad in Cor Ten weathered steel, and dark blue back-painted glass rainscreens.

Open is the landscape architect, and the planner is Deloitte Real Estate.

Other projects that Downing has brought forward in Manchester include the £40m Parkway Gate development, also designed by SimpsonHaugh, then known as Ian Simpson Architects. The scheme includes 729 bedrooms across towers ranging between 17 and 13 storeys.

River Street November 2017 2

Six-storey concrete frame currently occupies the River Street site, next to Premier Inn

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About time something was done with this.

By QuaysMan

Great news…Will match in nicely with Parkway Gate.

By Steve

This looks nice. Hopefully this saga will soon be owner. This has been a blight on Manchester for too long.

By Elephant

Great news, that eyesore has to go as soon as possible.

By .

I think the frame should be listed and retained for ever as a message of what happens when everyone gets a bit too giddy!

By The Old Faithful

Always has to be at least one abandoned concrete frame in the city centre. This one is being demolished, but another one popped up overnight on Rochdale Road…

By Alex

it’ll be a shame if that iconic concrete frame is demolished.

By modernist

Will miss the Beirut chic….

By Schwyz

A great contemporary Jail House rock video could be made there, with all the failed construction firm bosses in each cell?

By Elvis lives!